NO MEAT, NO PROBLEM.
If you’re a veggie (or the person responsible for catering for one) you might be under the impression that wine pairing with vegetarian food is limited - especially when it comes to big bold reds. Fear not! You don’t need a big slab of bloody red cow to make your vino sing. In fact, all you need to do is understand the 3 components that make big reds so...well BIG & the pairing is as easy as pie (butternut squash or otherwise).
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× This comes from the wine’s tannins in the grape skins, it gives big reds their weight and that grip of the gums. They are softened by ingredients with plenty of protein & umami (savoury) flavour. Think Tofu/Tempeh, Beans, Mushrooms & Soy. Be careful with bitter ingredients like Quinoa & Kale (a little sugar to counter double bitterness can help).
Acidity in red is not as high as white but still fairly high on the scale. Pairing with acidic ingredients (like lemon) can make a wine taste dull. To best bring out the flavour pair with salty, fatty ingredients. Think Nuts, Nut butters & oils.
Big reds are intensely fruity & powerful, so it’s no good having a bland meal. Soup (lol) things up a bit with strong flavours like Onion, Pepper, Paprika, Mustard & allspice. Also most big bold reds have dark fruit flavours. So think Plum, Blackberry, Black Olive & Blackcurrant.